(Nespelem, Wash. March 18, 2021) – The pre-season stocks are looking promising and others very weak. Unfortunately, the 2021 forecast for upriver spring chinook, is the lowest it has been in 20 years. With that being said, the Leavenworth and Chief Joseph hatcheries might not meet broodstock needs and fishing opportunities will be extremely limited or possibly closed.
However, the sockeye forecast is intermediate although it is only about half of the 10-year average. The predicted run to the Okanogan is approximately 127,300. This run should provide ample opportunity for tribal fishermen to catch some good fish. The Colville Tribes’ Fish and Wildlife Department anticipates catching enough sockeye with the purse seine to distribute to tribal members and re-stock the ceremonial freezer.
Finally, the Upper Columbia Summer Chinook forecast is relatively strong, and if the fish show up as predicted there will be 77,600 at the mouth of the Columbia! It will be the largest run in the last five years and slightly higher than the 10-year average. Therefore, fisheries managers around the region expect to achieve full broodstock collection for the hatcheries. The Colville Tribes and local sport anglers should anticipate a robust fishing season starting July 1.
Forecast by Casey Baldwin, Research Scientist, CTCR, Fish and Wildlife